Monday, 24 August 2015


photo: peter dixon

Should I know you from somewhere?
Your eye brows raised in thick liquorice black.
You and your hairline gone bald as plaster.

Or your puffed face, was that the cherub I knew?
Separate, alone, stuck in time’s stiff relief,
all-round solid, middle-aged spread, that’s you.

But do I detect a grin? What’s comical?
If I’m right, you never were the private man
enjoying lingering here among market souls.

Being statuesque has made you look so calm,
that dickey bow, tight waistcoat, long green apron,
the red towel hung rigid over your arm,

ever your big hands grip on that shiny plate;
And to think you used to like a flutter
from equine tips to extras of your trade.

Nameless, ghost-looker in perpetual gaze.
The same man? Could it be? I don’t know – what hope?
My pockets jingle with loose change, and yes,

I’d like to put something on your plate but don’t.

G. F. Phillips